Tuesday, August 12, 2014
I watched you play with your brother today, tumbling around in the mass of pillows that he constructed into his "castle". You giggled and shrieked, and occasionally looked back at me to make sure I was still there, eyes fixed on you.
I couldn't help but smile. You are beautiful. You are full of life. And you are growing up. Not just the average growth... dots on a line chart, weight on the rise, height ever increasing... but heart and soul growth. Maturity in your eyes. A deeper level of understanding and reasoning in your actions. You are rounding the bend to your sixteenth month, and these last few weeks have been our best yet.
You and I both know that this past year has been a challenge. Both of us stubborn, both of us independent, both of us needing grace. You are so much like me in so many ways, and yet so much your own lady too. I knew the moment our eyes met in the quaint birth center room the morning after your birth, that our relationship would stretch me. My world tilted, in the direction of a crying little one who needed me more than I knew how to be needed.
I knew a few emotions that day. Deep love. Fierce protection. Intense fear. I embarked on a series of sleepless nights, long days, and lots of prayers. I wrestled with the fact that I couldn't make you happy... you screamed and cried when you wanted too, and cooed and giggled when you felt like it. You were deeply affectionate some days, and didn't want to be touched the next. A strange paradox of independence and need. I didn't understand you in the least, and I knew you didn't understand yourself either. It was like we both spoke a different language and couldn't find a translator.
So we pushed through it together... through good days and not so good... we were content to let our love for one another bloom despite the challenges. We chose one another and started to form a third language together, one founded on respect and admission of our own shortcomings.
And something recently shifted, our world started to right itself again, and my days have begun to not be governed by when you are napping and awake, happy or sad. I can get laundry folded and get dishes washed, in the same morning! You entertain yourself for longer bits of time, and you delight in your big brother now, something that a few months ago seemed unattainable! You plod around the house, proud of yourself and your sturdy set of legs, your sense of humor and your increasing vocabulary. You make me laugh and your eyes dance at the thought of it. I smother you in hugs and kisses and you lean in for more.
And if you wonder why I am writing all this down... confessions of challenging days and difficult love...
it is because babe, I want you to know that you are so worth fighting for. You are worth every hard day, every sleepless night, every tear-filled encounter. You are worth getting to know, observing, loving.
You are lovely.
You are precious.
You are fearfully and wonderfully made.
Don't forget this, little one.
You are worth it because you are a creation of the Most High God, crafted in His likeness. Just think of it, you are royalty!
Walking through these last fifteen months with you has been so so much more than a challenge, it has been a privilege, an honor, a joy.
It is said that the best things in life are worth fighting for, and I couldn't agree more. When it comes to you and I, our relationship has been tested and refined, and made stronger for it.
I love you.